Ruby Smith was born to Helton Ledbetter and William Sawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida close to a century ago. She was raised by loving grandparents until the age of 6, when suddenly they died. Her life at that time took a turn and she moved from town to town: Belle Glade, Tampa, Coco Beach, etc. During this time life was rough and unforgiving and she began to pray.
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At the age of 16 she left Florida for Boston, stopping along the way in Harlem, New York. She settled in Boston at the height of World War II, where she found work at the Chelsea Naval Ship Yard before an accident killed her closest friend. In 1954 she married Leemon Smith to whom she remained married for over 35 years. She earned her GED from English High School, and using her considerable aptitude for numbers, she worked for Raytheon and finally retired from Gillette. A pillar of her community, she was the Grand Matron of the Carver Lodge, and a steadfast member of the Concord Baptist Church Usher Board. She was quick to take in family and always gave to the Children’s Hunger Relief Fund because she remembered being hungry as a child in Florida during the Great Depression.
She is preceded in death by her siblings, Johnny, Joseph and Dorothy. She leaves behind a son, Ron E. Armstead; four grandchildren: Todd Williams, Kaili Turner, fari nzinga and Joseph Johnson; five great-grandchildren: Chiyanna Williams, Tahir Williams and Angelina Williams, and Dasan Turner and Eliyus Tillery. As well as countless cousins, friends and loved ones.
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